OpenOffice is a great product, but many businesses need more than an office suite and they don't all have an IT staff. If they are looking for replacement applications, they've got several considerations. Is the output in a format my customers can read? Will it import data from my existing applications with a minimum of effort? How much of a pain is it to install and configure? Will I gain enough in new functionality to compensate for the opportunity costs involved in the change?
I don't know all the free applications available for Linux; heck, I don't know many. I assume there is something comparable to QuickBooks with a smooth import process.
I'll also assume there is an inventory program available, but I'm betting it takes some database knowledge to import from an existing Windows app. Small business people have their hands full running their business; even if they're interested in learning databases, they probably don't have the time.
If I'm running an drafting firm, is there drafting software that will output a file compatible with my customer's AutoCAD? It probably isn't included free with major distributions.
If I'm a franchisee, I'm probably going to buy whatever computer system the franchising company recommends so I know I'm compatible with them.
This isn't just an issue of an free office suite.
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